Thursday, March 22, 2012

You can't teach an old dog new tricks... or safety precautions

My father has been introduced before as a D.I.Y. wonder, but what I haven't mentioned is how damn careless he is with his limbs.

Yeh sure, me or you, we enjoy having full possession of our body parts, we take care to wear the necessary protection, we take care to avoid the sharp end of objects. But not my father. Oh no, not Daddy dearest. He seems to think, no matter how many lumps he takes out of himself, that it'll be ok the next time, it won't happen again. Let's count how many times he's been wrong, shall we?

There was the time that he was pruning the roses, reached around while cutting with the secateurs, and without looking at what he was doing, snipped the top off his finger. Yes. Disgusting I know. But then my poor mother was sent out to the roses to look for the tip of the finger so it could be sewn back on. She couldn't find it. But she did have lovely red roses....I don't think she appreciated them as much as she could have. How rude...

Then there was the time that he was mowing the lawn and the blades got stuck. Now, I know what you're thinking, 'turn off the lawn mower', right? Because that's what a sane person would do. But apparently it's not off the ground I licked my crazy streak, because my clever clogs of a father, instead, reached straight into the mower to unblock it. And in the process, chopped the top off and broke another finger. He got off lightly.

Or how about the time that he was using the scroll saw, wasn't watching properly (oh no, he did not learn from the last times) and sawed over half way through the top of his finger, cutting through part of the bone and leaving it hanging on by a thread. Luckily, for him, they managed to save it and the only lasting sign is a scar on his finger (not that you'd notice, it blends in with the collection). If anything, it taught him that he's a lucky fucker and doesn't need to worry about heinous injury. He's wrong.

Let's talk about the time the washing machine broke from the limescale clogging up the pipe (hardwater areas like ours mean this happens more often than usual). Now, I know what you and I would do- we'd have a look at the machine, and then we'd call a plumber. Not my father! Because plumbers are for pussies! And people who value their health.... Having been a farmer, and therefore well used to cleaning machines and the like, my father went out to his shed and came back with a container of caustic soda. Yes. You read right. Caustic soda. Which he used to use for a good auld clean of pipes. Now the thing about caustic soda, is that when hot water is added, it expands to a great extent, and my father was aware of this. However, he did not show it when he filled the pipe with water on top of the soda. The expanding mixture shot out of the pipe like a water pistol, hitting him in the face, even managing to score the bullseye, or in this case, his eye. He was severely burnt in the face, had to wear an eye patch for weeks and was informed by the eye specialist that had the acid been a mere millimeter to the side it would have hit the pupil and blinded him in that eye. Permanently.

I'm sure that by this stage you're thinking he must have learned his lesson. Surely to God he's learned that he is very much vincible, and breakable, and blindable. And in need of bubble wrap or a midget on his shoulder asking him 'are you sure this is a good idea' any time he moves. But unfortunately that is very much wishful thinking.

Most recently, in fact, a week ago, he was cleaning the car and decided that the rag that he was using was too long. Instead of walking the extra minute into the house from the yard, he decided to cut the rag with the infamous scroll saw. I know, I would have thought he would be more careful with that death saw as well. In the process of cutting the rag it slipped and he sliced into his thumb. Instead of going to the doctor, he wrapped it up himself instead and carried on like normal. And even though he quite clearly had an unhealed cut from the often bloodsoaked bandage on his thumb, he still refused to go to the doctor. Today, he showed me the thumb. When I commented that it looked infected, he corrected me, saying it was just a crust from the blood and it was healing well. I disagreed. He said, if he went to the doctor, the doctor would say it would be healed in a number of weeks and would take the same length of time without the doctor visit. He sprayed some savlon into it to keep me satisfied (although he looked for methylated spirits first) then covered it up in a plaster and toddled off.

There is no definite way of finding out how many injuries he has actually done to himself. Partly because he will not go to the doctor when he hurts himself, and instead pretends nothing happened, refuses to admit he is in pain and refuses to take pain medication because he doesn't want to. In one horrific scare a few years ago, he fell off a ladder and had the doctors convinced from his x-ray that he had fractured his back and had themselves and us all freaked out. Further examination of the x-ray revealed that it was in fact an old healed fracture from years earlier. When told, my father very calmly told us that he had a fall or something years ago- before we came along- and assumed he'd pulled a muscle coz he'd been in a lot of pain with it for a long time.

WHAT KIND OF A MAN FRACTURES HIS BACK AND DOESN'T KNOW??? 
Or even go to the doctor with the amount of pain he's in?

He's also broken his nose, his foot and most likely his ribs..and who knows how many other bones he's broken or how many bits of himself he's ripped up over the years? The man is the most careless, clumsy, most accident prone person I have ever met.

And fuck it, don't dare feel sympathy, it'll only encourage him.